Higher Ranks Cermony
Troop Recognition of Passing to Higher Grades
In the different types of Courts of Honor, opportunity is given for public recognition of Scouts passing to higher rank, but this should not supplant or completely take the place of the Troop's celebration of the Scout's advancement. There is much value in the public recognition of the Scout's progress by prominent citizens, by means of the Court of Honor, but it does not carry the same intimate, satisfying message that comes only from recognition by those with whom the Scout has been a co-worker. For such as these his heart is full.
The tribute of his own gang, with its slap on the back, and its "good-boy, Bill" is the most precious of tributes. The chance, too, of standing four-square with his Scoutmaster means more than any crowd of a Court of Honor could possibly give him! What is so fine as the praise of those who have fought the good fight with him, who know the problems he has had to conquer, and who know of his hard struggle in the practice of Scout ideals while making good on Scout requirements!
No Troop should lose the inspiration that comes from the visualized knowledge that its Scouts are climbing the ladder of achievement. It is not enough to hear about it. A vision should be given of the happening. Most Courts of Honor eliminate Scouts of lower grade from their meetings, so if the full benefit of this inspiration is to be received, it must be by way of a ceremony held in or by the Troop itself.
Some Courts of Honor present only a progress certificate, leaving the pin itself to be presented at the Troop ceremony, or vice-versa. In Troops not under Council, this Troop ceremony may serve as a Court of Honor. In either case it is the event which parents and friends will attend as a community activity.
Many citizens are not interested in any ceremony that is not presented at some point near at hand and that does not. honor their own sons or the sons of their friends. This Troop ceremony, too, will help in a large measure to visualize to the sponsoring institution and Troop Committee some of the accomplishments of their Troop and its members. In this, as well as in all other Troop activities, a strong pressure should be exerted to see that as many people attend the ceremony as possible.
For Merit Badge, Star, Life and Eagle Scouts, the ceremony known as "Scaling the Heights" (See pages 220-227 Estes Park Conf. Rep.) may be used, but for the Second and First Class Scouts, the following ceremony is suggested:
If possible, the ceremony should be out-of-doors, where a real camp fire evening may be enjoyed. If indoors, the stage should be set to represent the out-of-doors. If there is no stage, the scene can very well take place on the main floor of meeting place, with such woodcraft atmosphere as can be arranged. A bridge is to be constructed, over which the Scouts are to pass. The foundation pieces (stringers) are to be laid by the Troop Committeemen, and should consist of small logs sufficiently long to hold the logs of which the floor of the bridge is to be made. This material once secured may easily be stored and used over and over.
The Ceremony for Investiture of Second and First Class Scouts
Head of sponsoring institution and the Troop Committee enters.
Committee-Man (looking about): What is the name of this land into which you have brought us?
Head of Institution: This is the land of citizenship which all good men should frequent, to give of their time to the betterment of the world.
Committee-Man: What can we do that the boys of our community may enter this land of citizenship, for surely they are the hope of the world?
Head of Institution: Citizenship through Scouting, though full of opportunity, is beset by problems, and many are those who have become bewildered in attempting to travel its trails unguided and uninstructed. As we have already blazed the way through the forest of difficulties, so let us now make it possible for our young men to go still further onward and upward to greater heights.
(A bugle call is heard.)
Head of Institution: That sounds as if there were boys in the vicinity now. Perhaps they are coming this way, in need of help. AHOYI (calls toward back, an answer is returned and Scoutmaster and Scouts appear, with flags and banners flying).
Head of Institution (to Scoutmaster) : Where are you bound, sir, may I ask?
Scoutmaster: To the Heights of Opportunity (motioning across and up).
Head of Institution: With all these boys?
Scoutmaster: No, there are some among our number who will await further preparation. (Tenderfoot Scouts seat themselves.) The others will go forward and blaze the trail as far as their strength will allow. Who leads the way?
Head of Institution: These (indicating Troop Committee-men) will be happy to help you on your way. I myself will instruct those who are to remain. (Second Class Scouts stay with Tenderfoot Scouts and all arrange a campfire.)
Troop Committee-Man: A well known and dangerous chasm of "bad habits" is just ahead, so use every caution, but together we can bridge it with the proper girders of character and citizenship. (Places, as stringers, logs flattened on lower side and notched above.) The floor must be laid by competent hands. Have you those among you who can help? (Twelve selected Scouts then come forward.)
First Scout: I lay the plank of trustworthiness. (Places log in notch on stringer.) (Elaborate, if desirable.)
Second Scout: I lay the plank of loyalty. (Until all twelve planks are laid.)
(Second Class and First Class Scouts and men, pass over, Tenderfoot Scouts remain.)
Head of Institution: Have any Scouts been left behind who have the right to accompany us?
New Second Class Scout: I have recently qualified to go with you, sir,
Troop Committee-Man (addressing all new Second Class Scouts) : Indeed, by what right do you claim permission to proceed farther along this hazardous trail to more complete citizenship?
New Second Class: I have made the necessary preparation, sir, and have my certificate of progress (proffers it as proof).
Scoutmaster: Your Troop Committee-men have laid the girders as you see and your fellow Scouts have paved the way for moving onward. You may now join those who are preparing for still more advanced places in the land of Scouting. (They are helped over the bridge and welcomed by cheers.)
Scoutmaster: I congratulate you upon your progress. We leave you in the company of tried and true Scouts who are preparing themselves to go still further in this fertile land. Be faithful to your ambitions. We go to prepare the way. (Second Class Scouts and new First Class Scouts seated.)
Troop Committee-man (moving off a few steps and looking back) : Only those who have First Class qualities may go further. The way is rough and rugged. Are there others among you who would share its difficulties as well as its benefits?
New First Class: Please, sir, may I go with you?
Scoutmaster: By what right do you ask for such a privilege?
New First Class: By right of this certificate (showing it) which vouches for my faithfulness, diligence and qualification to go on with First Class Scouts.
Scoutmaster: With this rope (tosses him one end of rope, which he grasps), we draw you into the midst of those who would go even unto the mountain tops of Merit, guided by the Star on the paths of Life, until at last our feet shall rest on the heights where only the Eagle builds its nest. Shall we journey on? This badge (pinning it on) will testify to your right to proceed. We hope you will be in reality, as well as in name, a "First Class Scout."
Senior Patrol Leader (or other Scout) : Eager As we are, sir, to pass on to those heights, we realize that we have left by the wayside those of our comrades who are not as strong as we are. Let us return that we may give them leadership, and in giving them this help increase our own strength for the task ahead (all say "good, good, good") and return to the Second Class Scouts).
Senior Patrol Leader: Shall we not add our strength even to the weakest of our brothers? Beyond the bridge are Scouts who need us most. Let us hasten to their assistance. (All Scouts answer "Hurry," and Scoutmaster leads them to join Tenderfoot Scouts, whom they surround.)
Scoutmaster: Tenderfoot Scouts, you have just entered into the land of Scouting and have not as yet discovered its full joys. These fine Scouts, whom you have just seen go from your ranks as Second Class and First Class Scouts, were only a brief time ago taking their first steps into this land of opportunity.
When their feet faltered their brother Scouts were there to cheer them on. When their spirits sank and the way seemed hard, friendly Scouts were there with supporting arms and cheerful smile. The Scouts who have just passed to higher fields and received their pins, have joined the ranks of those who would give you help. We all surround you now (those standing join hands) with the magic circle of brotherly love, and pledge our best efforts to your advancement.
We will, however, expect you to do much for yourself and not drag too much on your pals. We extend our hands (do so, and all join hands) to place you solidly on your feet, and feel sure that you will do your share so that we may all soon move on to the heights of citizenship, where God is your guiding star.
We will now rest awhile together, that we may be prepared to go forward with firm resolve and steadfast faith.
(All sit or lounge on the floor or ground in close and brotherly attitude, resting on each other, etc., informally. Lights should be lowered, or extinguished while camp fire in center is lighted, or if indoors, lights to represent camp fire are turned on.) All sing.
A suitable brief program of songs, or a good story, announcements, etc., may well be inserted at this point and occasionally even suitable "eats," closing the evening with "Taps."
When you place an order with Amazon.Com using the search box below, a small referral fee is returned to The Inquiry Net to help defer the expense of keeping us online. Thank you for your consideration!
To Email me, replace "(at)" below with
If you have questions about one of my 2,000 pages here, you must send me the
"URL" of the page!
This "URL" is sometimes called the "Address" and it is usually found in a little box near the top of your screen. Most URLs start with the letters "http://"
The Kudu Net is a backup "mirror" of The Inquiry Net.
Last modified: October 15, 2016.